David Lloyd George arrives with a down train.
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Minffordd (English: Road side or Edge of the road) is a station on the Ffestiniog Railway. It lies at a height of 85ft (25.9m) and a distance of 2 miles 5 chains (3.32km) from Porthmadog.[route 1][wikipedia 1] Minffordd is a principal passing station on the Railway and an exchange station with the Cambrian Coast line from Machynlleth to Pwllheli. A short (signed) walk from the station leads to Portmeirion.
Minffordd station opened on 1st August 1872. Before the station was built, there was a horse station 100m eastward at Cae Ednyfed. The modern loco water tank stands on its stone pillar at the top end of the Up platform outside No.3 Cae Ednyfed.
The station closed (temporarily, as it turned out) on 15th September 1939, and reopened on 19th May 1956.
The stone station buildings date from c.1880. There is a fine colony of FR bats in the station roof; on summer evenings they fly down the line, under the Cambrian bridge and then away to forage on the south side of the main road. The former ticket office window may be seen under the station canopy, but the Booking Office is at present occupied by the automatic signalling system for the station.
There was a small wooden building on the "down" platform possibly from c.1870, which was demolished in 1956. A replica was erected in spring 2002 and shortlisted in the National Railway Heritage Awards (2002).
The garden on the Down platform is some 450ft long and varies between 10ft and 16ft wide, with the only palm trees on the Railway. On the Up side there are flower displays in barrels and in a flower bed by the foot entrance from the main road.
The age of the Minffordd Oak, in the middle of the Up Platform, is hotly debated. There are those who say it is 300 years old and others who say it cannot have been left so close to the line when the Railway was built in 1833-6. Photographs show it already to have been a moderate size by 1887. It is fancifully suggested that it may have been an acorn in the year the line opened. It has offspring nearby and acorns have been taken away to grow even as far away as England.
Minffordd Yard was built for transshipment of slate and other goods with the Cambrian Railways. It is now used as a Permanent Way depot and for rolling stock storage. It can only be accessed by rail from the down line, using the Mineral line, where the wagons where once weighed, from Minffordd Station. There ia also a hostel for volunteer workers - see Minffordd Hostel.
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At opening in 1872 or soon after the staff at Minffordd were as follows:-
Henry Besant, Station Master
Job Williams, Signalman
Evan Evans, Porter
Owen Owens, Porter
Robert Roberts, Porter
Alice Lloyd, Minffordd Crossing
John Richards, Weigher
Griffith Williams, Weigher
In February 1912 the staff were
William Parkins Station Master
W. Morgan Porter
Rees Williams Porter
H. Jones Temporary Porter
Job Williams Gateman
There is a car park, on gravel, adjacent to the station, with a capacity of about 15 cars. There is ramped access to the platform for Blaenau Ffestiniog bound trains.
For general details see here
The station is adjacent to the main A487, 200m west from the bypass roundabout. Access to the Porthmadog bound platform is via a wooden foot crossing at the lower end of the station.
There is a canopy with seating; and very rudimentary washroom facilities if you have the key (Standard Yale)
There is steep ramped access to the Cambrian Coast Line station below.